MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. -- Lt. Col. John M. Neumann relinquished command of the Marine Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Squadron 1 to Lt. Col. Geoffrey H. Field, in a change of command ceremony at the commanding general’s parade field here June 23.
During his time as commander, Neumann and the “Watchdogs” deployed twice in support of OIF For his achievement in connection with combat operations as commanding officer of VMU-1 in Operation Iraqi Freedom from August 2005 to March 2006, Neumann received a bronze star.
“To the watchdogs, you have done everything in a superb fashion. You’ve met every challenge and you have exceeded every expectation. Every mission you have been asked to do you have done it a hundred percent, said Neumann. “I’m extremely proud of each and every one of you. I wish you the best of luck in the next year and upcoming deployment.”
Neumann will now report to the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, Penn.
Fields was commissioned through the Platoon Leaders Course in 1989. He graduated The Basic School in March 1990 and reported to Marine Air Control Group 48. In 1993 Fields deployed with Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 162 reinforced, 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit as a squadron logistics officer aboard the USS Guadalcanal. It is here that he participated in Operation Provide Comfort, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Operation Restore Hope, Somalia.
In 1995 Fields participated in Exercise Strong Resolve, Norway aboard the USS Wasp. He again deployed with HMM-162 (REIN), 22nd MEU in 1995 participating in Operation Assured Response, Liberia, as the squadron flight officer aboard the USS Guam.
In 1998, in his three year tour with Marine Heavy Helicopter 464, he participated in Operation Easter Access, Vieques, Puerto Rico. From there he reported in July 2001 to Marine Corps Air Station Quantico, where he was assigned to Presidential Helicopter Squadron One for four years. In 2005 he was assigned to Camp Lejeune’s II Marine Expeditionary Force, G-3, Expeditionary Operations Department.
Field is a graduate of Marine Corps Command and Staff College, Survival Evasion Resistance Escape course and the Tactical Air Control Party course.
Field's awards and decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal with Combat “V” with “1” Strike/ Flight award, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with a gold star in lieu of second award, and the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal with a gold star in lieu of second award. Field is also authorized to wear the Presidential Service Badge.
Field is married to the former Phyllis Thomas and has three children Matthew, Chase and Kyle.
“Watchdogs, Marines,” said Field. “We are all privileged to wear the eagle, globe and anchor. The rich legacy that is captured in those words is the standard that governs our services. Our challenge is to conduct ourselves in a manner that deems us worthy successors of the many, many Marines that have gone before us. We do that by practicing stewardship. Very simply defined stewardship is the desire to serve others before self. My pledge to you today is that my stewardship begins right here, right now. God bless you and your families. Semper Fidelis.”